Of the 1.24 million fires in the United States in 2013, 20 fires were categorized as catastrophic multiple-death fires, according to a report by the NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Division. A detailed summary of the group’s report on these fires, “Catastrophic Multiple-Death Fires in 2013,” is published in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal.
In the report, a catastrophic fire is defined as “a fire or explosion in homes or apartments that result in five or more fire-related deaths, or fires or explosions in all other structures and outside of structures, such as wildfires and vehicle fires, that claim three or more lives.”
The 20 fires that meet this definition killed a total of 122 people, 28 of whom were children under the age of six. The report offers statistics on the various types of catastrophic fire events, as well as short case studies of each event, including information, if available, about each fire’s cause.
The Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona and the ammonium nitrate fire and explosion in West, Texas, were the deadliest fire events of 2013, according to the report.
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